The Romanian Football Association has asked Hypercube to investigate how the Romanian cup competition could be made more interesting for clubs and fans. The association wanted the top clubs to take the cup tournament more seriously and for the tournament to have a higher match volume. This was subject to the condition that the playing calendar would not lead to player congestion. There was also a desire to limit the travel time for the smaller clubs.
Hypercube has proposed a new system that allows more high-level matches to be played, while still using a calendar with the same match dates.
The tournament starts ‘in the traditional way’ with several knock-out rounds between amateur clubs and lower-ranked clubs. In the first rounds, teams meet within their own regions. This is followed by a group phase in which the eight best clubs of the highest level enter. Four groups of four teams are formed. The two best-performing clubs from each group will advance to the quarter-finals, followed by the semi-finals and final.
The advantage of this system is that every club plays at least three matches in the group stage, where before a club would have been eliminated immediately after a lost knockout match. In addition, the strongest teams also play against each other in the group stage, which means that more competitive matches are on the schedule.
The idea has been received with great enthusiasm by the clubs of both the lower and the higher levels. The new format has been adopted and will be implemented in the 2022/23 season. In addition, the more interesting tournament has brought in a new sponsor and the returns have increased by as much as 50%.